Jesus Please Forgive MebyStangStar06©
Hi folks, this story is based on the Concrete Blonde song of the same title. Listening to the song might help you enjoy the story more, but it isn't necessary. From now on when I do s story about a song, I'll try to give you a warning on my twitter page so you can listen to the song beforehand. I'm grateful to Mikothebaby for her usual incredible editing job. She has also taken over my brain and has me watching NASCAR and drinking cocoa.
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As I opened the doors to the church, so the long phalanx of people waiting outside could enter, I nodded at the preacher standing in the pulpit. Besides me, he was the only person who knew what was about to happen, or so he thought. I looked across the church and saw that my wife had noticed the exchange between the reverend and myself. She smiled nervously. I guess she didn't think that I liked him much. In her mind though, any contact between the two of us was good.
As the hundreds of church members watched, a long line of people, mostly black, who wore long choir robes, slowly filed into the church. The murmuring immediately stopped when a woman at the head of the line raised her hands and in the loudest, purest voice the church had ever witnessed, began to sing. Her voice was so powerful that it carried throughout the church even without amplification of any kind.
"Whoah oh oh, Ja-yeeeee-zusssss. Pleee-eeez forgive meee-eee." She paused for dramatic effect. "....For the things ah'm about too-ooo-ooo-ooo....Saaaa-aayyy."
At that exact moment, I felt like the Phoenix; the legendary bird of fire that rises from the ashes and burns every fucking thing in its path to the ground. My eyes narrowed and yet I smiled. But it wasn't a friendly smile. To reference this type of smile, think shark, think wolf, think the Grinch...just before their moments of triumph.
Several of the bastards within these walls had done me wrong and the day of reckoning had arrived. I aimed my remote at the pulpit and the large screen behind the preacher dropped down from the ceiling and lit up. He looked at me strangely because all he knew about was the choir that was walking slowly through the church. Music came from the speakers arranged around the church and the choir responded as they filed through one door and arced towards the other.
The congregation had never heard music like this before. It wasn't any form of southern gospel. In fact, it wasn't a religious song at all. It was very heavy hard rock, almost metal. Some of them opened their mouths in shock. Others started bopping their heads back and forth in time to the music or dancing.
This was my moment so I milked it. I raised my hands and started to dance too.
The vocalist, who had reached the center of the church, started in on the song's first verse. If the preacher and his congregation had expected a hymn to the glory of the Lord, or an uplifting song to lift the faithful, they were shocked. It was a song about that other aspect of the bible; VENGEANCE. Almost every mouth dropped open as the short fat woman, sang in that same powerful voice. Her tone had changed, it was no longer respectful. It was conniving and nasty. Even I was amazed at her ability to phrase and deliver the song with exactly the emotion I felt.
"I killed you in my mind today. I cut you up, I watched you bleed."
"I killed you in my heart today. For everything you did to me."
"I murdered you a hundred times. I shot you dead and never cried."
"I killed you in my mind today. I laughed and watched you die."
The preacher stuttered and started to say something but then noticed people staring and pointing at the screen behind him. I watched his face intently as he turned to see what they were all staring at.
Okay, before this gets too far along and you guys all sentence me to hell, let's go back to where this started. Or at least to where it all started for me. Let's go back three weeks exactly. I'm an average guy. There's nothing special about me. I'm so average that my name is John Smith, which is one of the most average names in the country. If I needed to disappear, I wouldn't even have to change my name because there are so fucking many John Smiths that I can just vanish.
I'm five foot ten, I weigh a hundred and eighty five pounds which is again, average. I have brown hair and brown eyes. I'm thirty five years old, which isn't too old or very young and once again makes me...average. I married my college sweetheart and we've been married for thirteen years.
As I said, this all started on a Sunday, exactly three weeks ago. Sundays are my favorite days of the week. Before you go too far, let me stop you. I'm not religious. Before today, the last time I had my ass inside of a church was...well it's been a long assed time. I think that church is fine for people who like church. I just have other things to do on a Sunday. I spend my Sundays handling two very important things year round. I wake up very early on Sunday and go out and do my longest run of the week.
I love to run. I started in high school and ran track all through college. Now I run marathons and local 5K and 10K races. On the average Sunday during the summer I might run 16 to 20 miles early Sunday morning before the heat of the day hits. Running extremely long distances takes a lot of the glycogen out of your system, so when I come in from my run I'm in no mood to go to church. I spend the bulk of the day depending on the season with football, baseball or NASCAR, with the odd track meet thrown in when I can find them. This is a serious bone of contention with my wife, because she practically lives in our small town's church.
By the time my legs recover, it's usually about an hour or so before the sun goes down. That makes it the perfect time to wash my car. Washing my Mustang is my second big Sunday activity for most of the year. I enjoy doing it and it takes me a good couple of hours at least to do it. I should point out that my wife hates my car. In the interest of equal time, I should also point out that I don't give a fuck about my wife hating my car.
Don't get me wrong, I love Kim, but over the past thirteen years that we've been married, things have settled a bit. We started out hot and spicy like most couples. We were so in love that we couldn't be away from each other for even a few minutes. Over the years, we got comfortable with each other which isn't always a good thing.
We developed hobbies. Mine, of course, are running and Mustangs. Hers are the church and charity work. We both also agreed that we should put off having kids for a while. According to the schedule that we set, this year would be the perfect year for us to start. I'm thirty five, so I'm settled and responsible enough for fatherhood. She's thirty one, so while her biological clock hasn't started screaming in desperation just yet, she's primed and ready.
She also doesn't really have to worry too much about losing her figure because it's already gone. For the first ten years of our marriage, she dieted and tried to keep herself pretty for me. Now the only time she even thinks about putting on makeup is when she's going to church or to do some work for a charity.
My running keeps me slim and trim. The fact that I love her, means that she doesn't have to worry about whether she's picked up a pound or thirty.
Anyway, three weeks ago, I'd decided to do my long run on the trails out near the local quarry. It would give me a change of scenery from the loop I usually run around the local park and also give my joints a break from pounding the asphalt road surface. The grass and dirt of the trails were softer and more forgiving.
I drove out there and had a good run. In my excitement over running in a new area, I forgot to bring my usual drink and after run snack. The first thing you guys should probably know is that I am not a world class athlete. I don't follow a strict diet and I don't always eat healthy foods. My usual after workout snack is a bag of chips and a wild cherry Pepsi. In my mind the chips are carbs and they also help replace the sodium I lost during the run. If you've ever really looked at Powerade or any of those other shitty tasting sports drinks, most of them are just sugar, water and a few electrolytes. So if I drink the Pepsi and throw in a banana, I'm good and I don't have that shitty sports drink taste in my mouth for the rest of the day.
So I pulled into a local gas station for a Pepsi and a bag of chips. I looked like hell. Or at least like a thirty five year old guy who'd just ran twenty miles and didn't have his Pepsi.
I looked around the convenience store part of the gas station and grabbed chips. They didn't have wild cherry Pepsi. I had to settle for regular Pepsi. As I stepped up to the counter, I recognized the woman who worked there. Shit, we live in a small town so pretty much everyone knows everyone else anyway.
"I guess you didn't go to church today, huh?" she said. Jane Foster, the woman working the station had been two cycles behind me for most of my life. When I hit high school, she was in elementary school and so on. She was about eight years younger than me and four years younger than my wife. That put her at about twenty seven and she really didn't look it. Maybe not looking her age was why they gave her that weird nickname, Poke.
She had brown hair like mine, but where mine was just brown, hers somehow was shiny and full of different highlights. Her hair just looked fucking sparkly. Her blue eyes also didn't hurt much. In fact, she was just the cutest thing to ever crawl from between her mother's thighs.
I knew her whole family and hated most of them. I remember beating her brother, Grant's ass several times during high school. Her other brother Brooks, considered himself to be too smart to get into fights. I think he was just smart enough to know that he was smaller than Grant and would probably get his ass whipped too.
Looking at Jane that morning though made me wonder why I'd never paid her much attention growing up. Maybe it's because eighteen year olds don't really look at ten year olds unless there's something wrong with them. And twenty year olds don't really have the time or the patience for twelve year olds. And by the time I was twenty two I was so crazy about Kim, that no other women on the face of the earth existed.
Over the years, I'd heard a lot of things about Janie and never really paid them too much attention. I figured what other people did was no skin off of my ass so why not live and let live. The mature Janie was certainly something to see. She was tan and curvy. She had on a long men's work shirt, with about four buttons open. I could see evidence of very deep cleavage as she leaned forward to take my money and stayed there for a few seconds longer than was necessary.
She had on shorts and while they weren't daisy dukes, they were tight enough to show off the curves of her rounded ass and her narrow waist.
"I guess you didn't go to church either," I said. She smiled and her hand lingered on mine as she gave me the change.
"Why should I?" she asked. "Those people are all full of shit."
"Most people are," I said.
"But you'd think that people who spend all of their time trying to tell everyone else how to live, would at least live up to the bullshit they spew," she said. And from the way that she said it, I got the idea that she was talking from personal experience.
"I don't go," I said. "I figure that the relationship between me and the almighty is a personal thing and I can handle it just fine without any outside guidance."
"I agree," she smiled. "Maybe you ought to get Kim out of there before it's too late."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Just take a serious look at that church and those people," she said. "I don't need to start gossiping. There's enough gossip around town as it is. And not all of it is true. So, people hearing dirt, especially when it comes from someone like me, just goes in one ear and out the other." I looked at her strangely.
"Come on John," she said. "I'm sure you've heard all of the stories about how wild I am and how many guys around town have fucked me. My favorite is the one about how I didn't go to college because I was pregnant and no one knew who the father was. Supposedly the guys from the local junior college were over at my house every day."
"I never paid very much attention to gossip," I said. "But I guess that sounds possible."
"John, I didn't go to college because in my last year of high school, when I was still a virgin, my mom got sick. It was decided that I should stay home and take care of her, because my older brothers were already in college. We also needed someone to cook and clean for my dad and my younger brothers. The guys were always at our house to hang out with my brothers, they rarely ever noticed me. A few years after that, my mom died and my dad got sick. I took care of him for three years until he passed last spring and I started working here."
"I'm trying to save up enough money to get the fuck out of this small minded, small town. I'm twenty eight years old and have had sex with a total of three men and none of them more than three or four times. There aren't very many women in this town who can say that. Some of the married women have..."
She just stopped talking as if she'd said too much.
"Janie, I don't know you," I said. "So you don't have anything to prove to me. And you took what I said the wrong way. I was trying to make a joke not a personal attack."
"What did you mean, then?" she asked.
"I just meant that when you were talking about all of the guys coming over to your house all the time, that it was possible because you're pretty enough for them to want to do that," I said. Her tanned face turned red.
"John...did you know that I've always had a crush on you," she gushed out. "I used to use you to scare my brothers, when they were being mean to me. If they made me angry, I'd just say, "I'm going to be there next time John Smith kicks your ass and I'll do my laughing then." I think that's why I got my nickname. "
I looked at her puzzled. "Don't they call you...?" I started.
"They call me Poke now," she smiled. "It's a morphed nickname. They started out calling me Pocahontas because I was always talking about John Smith. Over the years, they just shortened it."
We stood there looking at each other until the bell rang when another customer came in and broke the spell.
"Poke, I need some beer," said a short guy who needed a haircut. "NASCAR is coming on."
"What kind Mr. Brady?" she asked.
"The kind you drink," he said smiling. "Hey, John." He said to me.
"Hey, Tom," I said back.
"Remember what I said about the church," she smiled as she went to show him where the beer was."
I thought about it for a couple of days. It was always in the back of my mind. It was a couple of days later that I was sitting at my desk at the plant. The phone on my desk rang and I picked it up without giving it much thought. "John Smith," I said.
"You need to go home for lunch today," said a muffled female voice and then the phone went silent.
I wrote it off as one of the guys at the plant who worked for me trying to play some kind of joke on me. They were always doing things like that. They'd tell me to go down onto the production floor because there was a problem. I'd go down there and when I got back my chair would be missing or something stupid like that. They really got me once when I went out to lunch and when I came back they'd entered a command into my computer that flipped the screen upside down. I couldn't let them know that they'd gotten me, so I didn't want to ask them how to undo it. I ended up having to call the Microsoft help line after a couple of days to take care of it.
But the voice on the phone had been a woman's, and while it wasn't unlikely for them to get their wives in on the joke, for some reason, I just took it seriously.
I was sure that I was just being stupid and falling for yet another practical joke, but I headed home anyway. When I pulled into the driveway of my average sized house, my life changed again. I saw my wife's Honda in the driveway but there was another car there as well. It was one of those older Cadillacs. I knew who the car belonged to and I was worried.
The car belonged to Reverend Pendergast. And I was anticipating having to listen to another of his lectures on why I should come to church. I figured that I'd just sneak into the house through the back door and grab a quick snack and take it back to work with me.
That way I could avoid the bullshit. Once again, I have nothing against religion. I think it's great for religious people. But I just don't like having someone else's fixation crammed down my throat. I really don't need the fire and brimstone. I don't need to have my immortal soul saved. If I'm going to hell, I'll probably be driving a Mustang. On the other hand, I don't try to force people into my beliefs either. I mean just think about it. My wife drives a fucking Honda. How much more open minded could I be?
So, I slipped in through the back of the house and made it into the kitchen. Once I got there, all plans of sneaking in and out vanished. There in my living room, my wife was being fucked by the reverend's driver.
There he was huffing and puffing away at her, while praising the Lord. And Kim was praising the Lord too. It just looked weird. There was something wrong here. I'd had enough friends go through divorces to know that charging in and kicking his ass was not the way to go. I took a short video on my iPhone and a few still shots that showed their faces.
Then I snuck back out of the house. I took my normal hour for lunch to think about things. I examined every bit of the incident from the beginning. I knew now that the female voice on the phone was probably one of my neighbors trying to warn me. The idea that it was one of my coworkers playing a joke was gone.
Thirteen years down the drain, I thought. I knew that I had to seriously consider my next move. I spoke to several of my friends over the next few days who'd been through divorces. I asked them all kinds of questions. I asked which lawyers they used and what they got in the settlement. I asked them why their divorces had happened. I also spoke to a few friends who'd had problems in their marriages that had managed to stay together.
The results were surprising. The majority of the cases actually involved the men cheating on their wives. I figured that those had very little to do with me. In the rest, fifty percent of them ended in divorce, either from the beginning or a few years or months later.
In the majority of the cases where the couples were able to stay together, the couple really loved each other so much that they were able to put it behind them. In a few of those cases, the wife was drunk or manipulated into the infidelity and they were isolated incidents.
The rest were cases where the couple stayed together for their children or for financial reasons. There were also cases where the husband was allowed to even things up.
There were some cases where the couples really loved each other and made a valiant effort to stay together but once the trust was destroyed in the marriage, there was simply no way to restore it. The husbands took to questioning every place their wives went. They were always trying to catch them doing something. Over time, the wives began to resent it and most of them ended up in divorce anyway.
I wondered then if I loved Kim enough to even try. Over the years, as I've mentioned before, we'd grown apart and developed our own interests. This might be the time and the reason for both of us to move on.
I wondered then if I truly even loved Kim anymore. Did I really still love her or were we just comfortable together. She wasn't being forced at gunpoint to have sex with the guy. And she'd done it in my fucking living room. In a way, it was kind of funny. As I've said, Kim is no spring chicken and any beauty she once had has faded. But you'd think that with all the shit she does for the church, at least she'd rate high enough to fuck the preacher instead of his God damned driver.